Cyberpunk 2077, Review. A City Without Borders

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CD Projekt is making it again, going beyond anyone else and laying the foundations for excellence for years to come.

Ever since the sandbox and open worlds began to prevail in the most luxurious and demanding sector in the video game, map size has been one of those easy metrics for attracting promotion. While it is practically impossible to compete in the first place because of procedural games, there is still a certain aura of prestige in the whole area. However, while already focusing on the open games of the urban environment, the extension has never been sufficient to fully recreate the perceptions produced by a great city.

Let’s think about the first time we visit one of the world’s great cities: New York, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong … we review our individual perceptions when we find ourselves in some of its nervous centers: Times Square, Shibuya crossroads , Piccadilly … Yes, we know that the city stretches to inaccessible distances, but that is not what affects it at those times. What we feel in the triple shock generated by the crowd around us, our faces in the face of the monumental structures around us and the sensory saturation of noise, stimuli and lights that invite us to experience, eat or eat the hundreds of choices displayed before our crowded senses. to live.

“Live on the edge”

Playing those moments in a video game is complicated, primarily because the scale of our character in relation to the world is not comparable to the real one for both technical and practical reasons. There are wonderful examples that manage to recreate the spirit of the people, their history and the image they evoke through their relevance in other visual media, but they cannot come close to scale or true density. It’s easy to recreate just some of the magical elements of big cities in the video game: its infinity of opportunity and micro-verses stacked in a few square meters, the whimsical combinations between centuries-old tradition and the insurmountable pace of urban development, or the impossible contrasts between dynamism and tranquility that can emerge in every corner, as if by the art of Magic.

If that approach, in that pale reflection that is the virtual cities of the video game, some of the media’s main achievements in creating virtual environments, how might the task of reproducing Night City be considered? How to propose a futuristic megalopolis scale imagined as a dream that brings together the best contemporary cities and especially the contemporary cities, multiplied to the ninth degree? For CD Projekt the answer to this is clear when playing Cyberpunk 2077: with work, passion and more work, with nine years of intense development which is the most obvious initial result It’s all about turning every urban open game into a dollhouse which is reflected in the history of the video game to date.

Cyberpunk 2077, Review. A city without borders

Among the basic elements to be a cyberpunk in the 2020 rules was “living on the Edge”, live on the edge, in an area where you risk your money, your reputation and even your life on something as obscure as a principle. That principle seems to have transcended the pages of the role-playing game to take CD Projekt as a studio and set the goal to set a new benchmark when creating scenarios. Touring Night City is recreating one of the greatest digital architectural works ever made in the video game, a fantasy rehearsal that attempts to capture the soul of the fictional California city, today smaller than the iron-influenced city of Arasaka.

Opulence and misery, splendor and dirt, rich constructions attacked by the power of graffiti protest as the last bit of protest against the incredible power of the powerful. “They are wet streets, foggy nights, cars, faceless people doing the things they do”, As Mike Pondsmith said in that video from January 2013, when he was making a real announcement on what he wanted the Cyberpunk 2077 video game to be and why he chose CD Projekt when he had already rejected several attempts own making video games with the license. “They were fans, they knew the subject better than I remembered it,” he saw something more in them than trying to license a recognizable name to make one more game. Fully endorsed faith, with a real turning point in the video game.

The best of all houses

Night City is a hobby excellent in scale, verticality and density. From the first moment we leave our apartment in Watson and step freely on the stairs of the Megatorre where we live, we find a city like we have never seen in the video game. Its streets are full of life, not only with pedestrians from one place to another, but with shops, street food stalls, people chatting, paying attention to a shop window. While the size of the city forces us to use vehicles to get from one place to another, staff have also made sure that all areas make sense for pedestrians, with their generous hulls, zebra crossings and traffic lights, elevated walkways. road crossings, alleles to cut through and dangers in the shadows. It is convenient, from time to time, to do the exercise of leaving the vehicles and dedicating ourselves to a quiet walk through the streets, and to appreciate the efforts made to create a scene that only looks staged with retail purpose and attention.

Cyberpunk 2077, Review. A city without borders

Streets on streets that need urban lifts, indoor markets, patios that emerge as a surprise in the most unexpected areas, stairs that bend to access intermediate areas out of sight of the general public, places to order things from eating or drinking … in a vehicle and on foot, Night City puts life into its streets, with lots of variety of pedestrian models, animations, and costume sets to hide our senses. But what draws our attention the most is the scale of the buildings, the general complexity of the streets, which rise and fall, interacting according to the needs, design and type of population in each area. We think when a game draws a prefabricated landscape in the background to remember that we are in a larger and more complex place than we are allowed to explore, with the difference that everything we see “there” is a usable part of mapping that we can go by will. They say that one of the most common characteristics of a tourist when he arrives in New York (and which must be taken care of to avoid pockets) is to always watch out for influence inside the App Big. Here we feel a similar impulse.

As for describing Cyberpunk as a play experience, various references come to mind. On the one hand, it is undoubtedly a role-playing game, with complete freedom to create and develop our character, to make decisions about the events that surround us and have consequences according to the role we are trying to play. At the same time, it presents a real-time combat system similar to any shooter, with focused mechanics and full coverage that allows us to face our opponent directly. But we also get elaborate infiltration and stealth mechanics, which are particularly reminiscent of the current Deus Ex installments, which we also appreciate in a number of missions with different alternatives depending on our strengths and observational abilities. Of course, we appreciate the core of GTA when we are on the road, but with some specific considerations (we can steal according to the type of car based on our characteristics, since it has more complex security systems than its together).

Cyberpunk 2077, Review. A city without borders

Far from suffering Frankenstein syndrome from so many important pieces put together, they seem to be harmonized here as if it were a natural thing, which is also of immense merit. There are reasons why the RPG components that Rockstar tried to implement in San Andreas are so hilarious that they were never resold, or why it is difficult to create an open and navigable city in the Human Revolution. For all of this we need to effectively advance our character so that we can use different specialties, multiple characters with different voice and dialogue options that vary according to the character or origin of the main character, missions with different alternatives with different execution and mechanics They give a freshness that is not always the same. Fight in real time with different subtypes of weapons, modifications and a long list of attributes and effects to apply to our competitors. All of this is tailored to an open game that retains, on the other hand, a compact and complex personal story full of wonderful moments. The naturalness with which all these pillars are presented may convince us that it is something “easy”, but in reality it is extremely difficult and an important reason why the game is being developed by almost ten last year and there have been some delays. There is nothing easy about this structure supporting the weight of his own ambition and that all parts work properly and even enjoy.

In order to make the game more manageable for a wider range of people, there is a Projekt CD better fragmented missions than in The Witcher 3, so that each player can go at the speed that is most convenient for him. On one side is the main story, divided into several fragments with bridges between them. Then there are “secondary gigs,” which can be solo missions of varying sizes or important subplots of several episodes that are not primary but charming. On the other side are the commissions. Each district of the city has a reference repairer, an intermediary that connects clients with workers who are able to meet their needs; the higher your reputation, the more jobs you will get and the more money you will earn from them, although the difficulty will increase accordingly. In addition, an NCPD police force scanner will show you where changes are happening so you can help if you want an additional source of income, not to mention how many thugs you can find when you get out of your way a little. busier districts. As if everything wasn’t enough, the map is full of mysterious points, short events that can pose some danger (each mission involves a varying degree of danger in relation to the progress of your characters).

Cyberpunk 2077, Review. A city without borders

CD Projekt was not an excuse for the amount of activities we can do to give them the importance they deserve. We can always find interesting dialogue, strange situations and unexpected types. What was a boring mission on paper can be transformed into a thrilling story when you least expect it, or help you understand the world in which you are and its people. The team put the design and story together, primarily or in any of the “secondary” so that there are many elements that will not fall into monotony. This has a lot to do with the way the story is taken care of in the Polish studio and the influence it has on the action and the mechanics themselves, and not in the other way as in many other open games, where the story is often seen. more or less complex color note to always do the same.

Universe of stories

A proper balance of different missions was found, prevent things like the monotony of clues and footprints in The Witcher 3 from repeating themselves (a feature that is also present here, but in a much more reasonable way). There are missions of sabotage, stealth, theft or pure combat, as well as stories that use their own mechanics applied to the event. It is that coherence between design and storytelling that raises the whole, even though it is the mastery of touch when you reach emotional heights with characters that is important to you. Without going into details, suffice it to say that CD Projekt continues to be at the forefront of how to do things in terms of storytelling in AAA games and to be at the forefront of this issue.

Cyberpunk 2077, Review. A city without borders

Good proof of these are missions based on braindance, recordings with special equipment that allows millions to put themselves under someone else ‘s shoes, see, feel, smell and taste them from another perspective, from the safety of your home. Needless to say, humanity is what it is, porn and erotic content is one of the most popular apps, when things are not more sinister. Using an editor, we can go through these scenes in the third person and look for clues in various programs to solve narrative “puzzles” that give us useful information about the mission we are doing. He is an elaborate mechanic, who is only used a lot and who manages to bring more richness to the campaign with something that no longer applies in the rest of the game. This is not the only example by which we consider that CD Projekt manages to strike a better balance than in the Wild Hunt, but it is one of the most remarkable.

Cyberpunk 2077 is committed to an open system creation and development, where the will of the player is mixed with the direction in which they wish to make their own practice in real situations. We have a very complete editor to customize our character – we don’t see it constantly because it’s in the first person, but mirrors in use are relatively visible, along with other scenes where we can see ourselves. Once that is done we will be able to choose our initial characteristics, dividing between constitution, recurrences, technical ability, intelligence and attitude. The characteristics of a thick line are the definition of the character, general features that also determine whether we can use different dialogue options or perform several actions as doors of force thanks to our powerful constitution, manipulate a system thanks to our information, release a lapidary phrase thanks with our mindset or for stealing a car with our technical knowledge, to give a few examples. Of course there will always be alternatives to these special actions, for fear of not giving us the numbers, but when we can do them we will get additions, shortcuts and bonuses that will make us proud of our decisions.

Cyberpunk 2077, Review. A city without borders

As soon as we start assigning points, the smooth lines that emerge in the so-called “advantages” begin, .i. where we can better define what we want our character to do and where our own experience of earning bonuses will be reflected. Each characteristic group is divided into two or three subgroups of related benefits, each with a score of enhancements, effects, and new abilities that enhance specific aspects of the range of possibilities we offer. For example, repetitions are divided into attacks, trousers and laminated weapons, so we need to add extra points in the repetitive attribute, use advantage points to earn bonuses while using them, if we want to master the katana . accumulate sword and experience with that specific weapon to unlock passive additives. The combination will make your mind and experience stronger, faster and do more damage when we brand a sword, making it functional in a world where range weapons have clear control. Of course, adding points is not enough. It will also be necessary to put points in a constitution to increase your resistance, life and regenerative capacity if we want to go to melee, although in general we recommend keeping a good range of possibilities open and putting some points in some kind of range weapon to be more versatile.

The advice of being a multidisciplinary thing extends to other aspects like stealth. The stealth specialization is the temperament, which is important for those who want to get noticed and for those who want to attack from the shadows. But if you focus entirely on that aspect you can prevent yourself from having the strength to unlock the door that will save you a whole lot of enemies, or if you don’t enter information points, it will prevent you need to have useful skills such as disconnecting cameras from a distance or removing enemies by manipulating electronic objects. Given the possibilities of synergies between attributes and the wide possibilities of getting interesting bonuses it is always interesting to grow your character, leaving room for future games with another class of main characters.



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